Miriam

open question to all - can you help?

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23 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

If you are open to other possibilities, such as the bible not being inerrant, not being the truth, and its having inconsistencies which simply don't square together, we may get somewhere.

If you are open to serious discussion for and against the existence of the christian god, we may get somewhere. If you argue from the basis that god simply exists and that's that, once again, it's pointless to discuss anything with you. 

TS - it wouldn't matter if I was open to other possibilities, you are not open to the possibility the bible is inerrant, both parties have to be willing to see the others point of view. I've seen yours - you don't want to see mine, because you've seen it all, right? Like I said, what wisdom could I impart to you, if that's how you think? My argument has not been just that God simply exists and that's that - you haven't been listening, because you already know all I know, even though you don't know me. It's not serious discussion, it's you telling me exactly how I'm wrong, and not wanting to listen to any reason I might be right.

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15 minutes ago, Miriam said:

TS - it wouldn't matter if I was open to other possibilities, you are not open to the possibility the bible is inerrant, both parties have to be willing to see the others point of view.

You're right in this, and no, since I do not think the bible is inerrant, I think the discussion is largely pointless.

Quote

I've seen yours - you don't want to see mine, because you've seen it all, right? Like I said, what wisdom could I impart to you, if that's how you think? My argument has not been just that God simply exists and that's that - you haven't been listening, because you already know all I know, even though you don't know me. It's not serious discussion, it's you telling me exactly how I'm wrong, and not wanting to listen to any reason I might be right.

You can list all the reasons why you might be right. I do not know how far back you have read in the Lions Den conversations/debates, or if you have, but chances are, those reasons have been listed already in forum conversations several times.

I will tell you straight out, at this point in time there isn't anything to convince me that the christian god exists, that any god exists. that christianity is the one true faith, or that any such faith of any variety is even required. You can try convince me though, if you like, but of course you appear to be aware that the chances of you convincing anyone here are next to nil.

If you're willing to seriously debate as I outlined, we might get somewhere. I will only have a conversation along those lines. Anything else I would just regard as proselytizing (you're welcome to try, but once again I fear this would just be more "the bible says..." and I have little patience for that).

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Just now, TruthSeeker0 said:

You're right in this, and no, since I do not think the bible is inerrant, I think the discussion is largely pointless.

You can list all the reasons why you might be right. I do not know how far back you have read in the Lions Den conversations/debates, or if you have, but chances are, those reasons have been listed already in forum conversations several times.

I will tell you straight out, at this point in time there isn't anything to convince me that the christian god exists, that any god exists. that christianity is the one true faith, or that any such faith of any variety is even required. You can try convince me though, if you like, but of course you appear to be aware that the chances of you convincing anyone here are next to nil.

If you're willing to seriously debate as I outlined, we might get somewhere. I will only have a conversation along those lines. Anything else I would just regard as proselytizing. 

 

You just said you aren't interested in debate, just telling me how I'm wrong. I didn't come here to convince anyone of anything - I've already said that, it seems though that you are intent on me agreeing with everything you say. 

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12 minutes ago, Miriam said:

 

You just said you aren't interested in debate, just telling me how I'm wrong. I didn't come here to convince anyone of anything - I've already said that, it seems though that you are intent on me agreeing with everything you say. 

I'm not intent on anything - I outlined what I would be willing to debate and on what basis. Seeing as you would be arguing from a different basis (as any Christian does), I think the debate is rather pointless and a waste of time.

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Hi, sorry to hear you had some nasty comments, I think you are right in saying most of us on here are respectful but certainly there are a range of people and some have a lot of anger towards religion.  Hopefully you have had a lot more positive responses this time, so perhaps you'll have a better view of the community from this thread.

 

I'm definitely in the Christian-lite category, quite different to many of the people here who have decades of belief.  I had bible studies at an early age (starting at 5) but it never felt right.  I knew I was too young and didn't have the information to understand what I was being taught. I didn't understand why I wasn't feeling as swept up in the stories as many of my classmates.  I now know it was because they came from Christian households who had taught them from birth that these ideas were fact, while I came from a more relaxed, blended idealogy upbringing.

This just left me with a hole, a gap in my knowledge that I longed to fill.  So at around age 10 I decided I would throw myself into getting a better understanding of the subject from every angle and what followed was decades of research.  I read books, attended speeches, watched videos and spoke to numerous people.  My plan had been to list reasons for belief vs unbelief, then run those ideas passed the other side to see where the counter arguements lead.  Time and time again science would give both answers and explain how those answers were reached, while the believers answers kept ending with gaps and unsatisfactory conclusions.

 

One of the biggest subjects for me was Noah's flood.  The list of problems was so extensive and so immediately obvious as to leave me using that as my prime query.  The answers recieved were so often hand wave affairs, miracles heaped on miracles, "God can do it cos He can do anything" or "I don't know but the bible is true so it must have happened that way".  Science kept supplying calculations of ship strength, food requirements, space per animal, time for each person's workload, waste removal etc.  I did come across Christians who had simply written off the story as hypebole, or a local flood.  An event that was miraculous but didn't have to break the laws of physics.   This response didn't fit with the churches teachings or really require God at all, but it did highlight the divisions within Christianity. 

 

That was one of the big take aways, that Christianity doesn't agree on many subjects.  Should women teach or be priests?  Are fantasy movies evil?  Will God punish unbelief with eternal damnation?  Which version of the bible is correct? Which books should be accepted as part of cannon?

Between the protestant vs Catholic wars, the schism between east and west, the thousands of denominations and dozens of different bibles, Christianity has no sign of unity.  If the church could have a united front it would be very powerful, but after thousands of years they are more divided than ever.  As an outsider looking in it is very hard to feel anyone actually knows what they are talking about when their own leaders can't agree on the most basic tenants of faith.

 

That's basically my journey in a nut shell, a long search for answers and finding all answers from one side and nothing from the other.  I would say I was agnostic from 10-20, then finally admitted to myself I was an atheist.  That was 20 years ago and new arguments seem a rare thing these days.

All the best with your own journey through life.

Cheers

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Hi, Miriam...I believe that a lot of people on this site have had rather traumatic experiences with religion, which would elicit an emotional response from them. Not that I'm defending them...just that I get it. 

If you haven't already, and if you wish, feel free to read my story in the "testimonies" forum entitled "just saying hey". Any questions, let me know. :)

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6 hours ago, Miriam said:

TS - it wouldn't matter if I was open to other possibilities, you are not open to the possibility the bible is inerrant, both parties have to be willing to see the others point of view.

 

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I'd like to address it by pointing out that many of us, myself included, have seen the Christian point of view. We used to believe it was true, just like you do. I was a fervent believer. Jesus/God/Christianity/Bible were my life. It penetrated every fiber of my being. My whole world was built around it, and I did not leave it lightly. Coming to the realization that what I'd believed my whole life is actually not true was a very excruciating experience. I wanted to keep the only worldview I had ever known, but it was impossible. If, perchance, you're interested in the details of my experience, my extimony is here: https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/31461-my-extimony/

 

The difference between where you are and where we are is that we've seen behind the curtain. We've learned enough to know that the Bible is not inerrant and Christianity is not true. Asking us to be open to going back to believing that stuff is like asking someone to go back to believing in Santa Claus. I don't mean any offense with that, but it's a worthy analogy. I cannot go back to believing the Bible is inerrant any more than I could choose believe in Santa, because the overwhelming weight of the evidence with both indicates that neither is true. Moving past our preconceived notions and following the evidence where it leads is not being closed-minded; it is being rational.

 

I hope that you do find time to read the letter that I linked in an earlier post. It is very detailed and explains many (though not all) of the insurmountable problems with Christianity.

 

Anyway, I thank you for being courteous here. I wish you the best with whatever life's journey brings you.

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4 hours ago, Citsonga said:

many of us, myself included, have seen the Christian point of view. We used to believe it was true, just like you do. I was a fervent believer. Jesus/God/Christianity/Bible were my life. It penetrated every fiber of my being. My whole world was built around it, and I did not leave it lightly. Coming to the realization that what I'd believed my whole life is actually not true was a very excruciating experience. I wanted to keep the only worldview I had ever known, but it was impossible.

 

Citsonga, you spoke so well exactly what I experienced so ditto the above for me too! Only for me it was 40 years of "all in 100%" it was my whole life. But the three stooges and every promise in the bible failed me in every way the whole time.

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13 hours ago, Miriam said:

Not trying to be condescending.  But I'm really not a fool.  You aren't as objective as you all think.  That's OK, you're in your bubble, I'm in mine.   You see my bubble because you have fresh eyes on me - same here.

Hi Miriam,

Could you define "objective"?

OTRR

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@Miriam

Hmmmmm....you complain that your speakers don't work so you can't listen to information members here graciously provided.  Yet when  @Citsonga posted a link to his written extimony, THIS is your response?   

 

 ....speaks volumes

 

14 hours ago, Miriam said:

Thanks, Citsonga.  It's a bit long, but not going anywhere, I'll have time some day.

 

 

 

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Hey Miriam, we haven't yet interacted,  but wanted to throw my 2 cents in as a response to your request.

2 main reasons that precipitated my deconversion: first, honestly coming to grips with the disconnect between old testament god and new testament god.  This started the "deconstruction of the bible" path for me.  I essentially threw out the old testament as not-inspired, but rather a collection of mostly nationalistic writings by many writers over hundreds of years.  Then I also realized that Paul seemed like the narcissistic televangelist of his day, and where did he get off telling the actual disciples of christ how to do things? So I threw out Paul's writings (the vast majority of the new testament). Then I read that the gospels were written at least a few generations after Christ's death, and bam!! No inspired bible anymore. 

Second, I started realizing that I was experiencing the feeling of the "holy spirit" in decidedly non-christian venues (secular concerts, in groups of people, in self-guided meditation), and this added to my understanding that my concept of god was not unique to christianity, and indeed christianity itself was very much wanting in both the claims of its source material and also in the actual practice of morals and ethics.

 

Thanks for letting me share!

 

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@Miriam

I've written a lot about my personal journey away from Christianity, and about my reasons for thinking that it is false.  PM me if you'd like to read some of it.

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19 hours ago, Miriam said:

I'm sorry, I've tried to have respectful conversation here, and it is not possible - I have been accused of being closed minded, but confronted with the same.

 

I really don't think the majority of people on this forum are like that at all, just the very noisy ones.

 

Could you please help me by posting links to helpful sources that contain information on your point of view, things like how you see history in contradiction to Christianity, any personal belief reasons why it makes no sense etc.  Not books, I can't afford it.

 

Thank you for your replies.  I will not respond to nasty posts in answer to this post. It is up to you now how you want to represent yourselves.

 

Also, a thank you to the people here, like MOHO, who have treated me well.

 

Miriam

 

When people examine a preponderance of evidence and form a conclusion, based on that evidence, they do not have a closed mind. They have the truth. 

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@Miriam Just pondering on your statements that we are close minded because we do not accept your claims, and more broadly the claims of Christianity and in fact any religion. 

 

May I ask if I'm close minded for not accepting the hypothesis that the earth is flat? 

 

And are you close minded for not accepting Allah, Vishnu or Zeus? 

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One thing for sure, I think the OP's question is being answered:

 

"Could you please help me by posting links to helpful sources that contain information on your point of view, things like how you see history in contradiction to Christianity, any personal belief reasons why it makes no sense etc. "

 

 

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7 minutes ago, midniterider said:

One thing for sure, I think the OP's question is being answered:

 

"Could you please help me by posting links to helpful sources that contain information on your point of view, things like how you see history in contradiction to Christianity, any personal belief reasons why it makes no sense etc. "

 

 

Maybe this thread should be "pinned" for lurkers and newbies.

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On 12/28/2018 at 11:28 PM, Miriam said:

You aren't as objective as you all think.  That's OK, you're in your bubble, I'm in mine. 

 

We were in a bubble, but that bubble burst. Moving past our preconceived notions and following the evidence where it leads is the opposite of being in a bubble. It took objectivity to be able to see that the Christian worldview ingrained in us is false. If we weren't objective, then we would still be following what we were taught to believe. It is precisely because of objectivity that we are ex-Christians. 

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15 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Maybe this thread should be "pinned" for lurkers and newbies.

 

Done!

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When I was a practicing christian, I would not ever join a site like this except for one reason and that would be to try as hard as I could to win you all back to god. But if you all came at me with your testimonies, links and video's to watch....and I actually did read them and watch the video's with sincerity, I would totally understand deep, deep down, why you lost your faith because I was already questioning many, many things and every christian does doubt to some degree. (Why do you think they sell thousands of self-help christian books on the very topic of doubt? ) So 'worldly' information like what is posted here at Ex-c would have scared the crap right out of me....and I would have turned a blind eye and run for my life,  back to where the christians would have reassured me that you guys were wrong. That's why I think so many christians who join this site don't take long to leave. I even believe that our dear friend 'End' knew the truth deep down inside even though he probably would deny it out of fear. It is 'fear' of gods' wrath. (for many people) This is why they  cannot cut that last string. I see that all the time on this site when we have a newcomer. Fear of hell.  Learning the truth ain't easy for some people. It wasn't for me.

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16 minutes ago, Margee said:

every christian does doubt to some degree.

 

To be fair, that depends on how thoroughly they're indoctrinated and/or how intelligent they are. I actually did not have any doubts about Christianity until I was 29 years old, at which time I started noticing that there were irreconcilable contradictions in the Bible. If I hadn't been into studying the Bible, I may have never developed any doubts, and I suspect there are some Christians who live their whole lives without ever doubting. 

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Just now, Citsonga said:

 

To be fair, that depends on how thoroughly they're indoctrinated and/or how intelligent they are. I actually did not have any doubts about Christianity until I was 29 years old, at which time I started noticing that there were irreconcilable contradictions in the Bible. If I hadn't been into studying the Bible, I may have never developed any doubts, and I suspect there are some Christians who live their whole lives without ever doubting. 

That's a really good point Citsonga. You are right. When I look back, even though I did have a lot of questions the church would reassure me of why god might be mysterious and we were not to question his ways, I would go my merry way for a while and not question. 

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@Citsonga By the way, I meant to mention that I saved that letter you wrote to your parents years ago. I still have it. I could never get over the amount of research that you put into it to try and  explain to them your reason for leaving the faith. You really should turn that information into a book! :) 

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25 minutes ago, Margee said:

That's a really good point Citsonga. You are right. When I look back, even though I did have a lot of questions the church would reassure me of why god might be mysterious and we were not to question his ways, I would go my merry way for a while and not question. 

 

I was so thoroughly indoctrinated that I didn't question the inerrancy of the Bible or the truthfulness of Christianity at all. I did come to disagree with some of the interpretations I was raised with, but that was only me shifting brands of Christianity. I never waivered in my faith in God/Jesus/Christianity/Bible until those irreconcilable contradictions reared their ugly heads. Once that happened, it eventually all unraveled, but before that I was fully convinced that it was all true.

 

24 minutes ago, Margee said:

@Citsonga By the way, I meant to mention that I saved that letter you wrote to your parents years ago. I still have it. I could never get over the amount of research that you put into it to try and  explain to them your reason for leaving the faith. You really should turn that information into a book! :) 

 

Thanks. I've had a few people tell me that. Early on I considered it, but if I were to do that, then I'd want to add more to it and update the format. It would take a lot of work, and then I'd have to try to find a publisher (I wouldn't want to self-publish because we're still in the hole with my wife's book). If it did get published, then I'd have to deal with ridiculous backlash and misinformation with Christians reviewing the book. All that is on top of being busy with my job and family, as well as the fact that my interest in the subject has waned some. Maybe someday I'll pursue it, but for now I don't have any plans to tackle it. 

 

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I had some hopes, but it seems we are playing chess with a pigeon once again. But I'm probably just a bit worked up and have a closed mind.

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5 hours ago, Citsonga said:

 

To be fair, that depends on how thoroughly they're indoctrinated and/or how intelligent they are. I actually did not have any doubts about Christianity until I was 29 years old, at which time I started noticing that there were irreconcilable contradictions in the Bible. If I hadn't been into studying the Bible, I may have never developed any doubts, and I suspect there are some Christians who live their whole lives without ever doubting. 

Yes there probably are, but few and far between. I didn't really have a lot of doubts either per se so much as things that I simply disagreed with in the years before I left. But when I started reading, things I didn't agree with just multiplied exponentially and there was no other choice but leaving. 

I think my own views, if people in my ex community actually listened to them sincerely, would really surprise a lot of them that really have few doubts because the "doubt is sin" indoctrination has been so successful.

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